About ISP100

Highlights: what UTM students say about ISP100H5

"This class was one of my favorites from this past year."

"I felt a drastic improvement in marks in my other classes where I had to use writing skills."

"...the best English course I've taken."

"The assignments are interesting and make research so much fun."

"...this course set me up for success in my future university courses."

"...opened many gateways...even beyond the university level."

ISP100H5 Writing for University and Beyond is offered by the Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy at UTM. Taught by writing experts, this course is designed to help you develop your capacity as a clear and persuasive communicator. You'll get stress-free assignments and learn strategies for success. Effective writing skills will benefit you in your anthropology courses, your broader university studies, and in your future career as well!

The UTM Department of Anthropology recommends that you take ISP100H5 in your first year if you want to pursue an anthropology specialist or major program at UTM, as it is a required course for these programs. ISP100 is offered at UTM in the Fall, Winter, and Summer terms.

Student comments on ISP100H5:


Gaining confidence and becoming comfortable with writing

"I gained a newfound confidence in my writing ability, as well as a better understanding of the standard of writing quality that is expected of me at a university level."

"ISP100H5 helped me understand what was missing in my writing and made me more confident in my writing."

"ISP100 allowed me to feel more comfortable with my writing, both through its process and submission."


"ISP100H5 helped me build a healthy relationship with my writing, in which I was able to communicate with my paper in a comfortable manner in various settings."

"This course helped to strengthen my foundation in writing through understanding and communicating my relationship with written word."

two students smiling and looking at laptop screen
Photo © University of Toronto. All Rights reserved. Credit: Jason Krygier-Baum


Instruction style

"The way the instructor taught the course was very comforting and easy to follow, making it the best English course I've taken."

"The instruction style was very engaging and unique. The teachers would help our class feel very comfortable with our writing struggles, showing us a very inclusive environment to learn in."

"I really enjoyed how positive, inclusive, and encouraging the course structure and instructor feedback was. I never felt like my writing style and stylistic choices were being critiqued. Rather, all of the feedback I received was positive and constructive, while still being very helpful."


Writing for your courses

"I better understand the expectations professors have of one's writing in university, and I also learned of effective ways to research using the library."

"I refreshed my writing skills and confirmed my understanding of expectations of writing an approachable scientific paper. I also got some experience with using resources for research and proofs."

"It felt like more than just an "English" course; it was almost as if Anthropology was tied into the reading and writing we did! I felt it was very relevant to my interests and helped me a lot."


Writing lab reports

 "As a science student, I benefited from taking ISP100H5 as it taught me how to be an efficient writer. Before taking this course, I disliked writing because I struggled with getting my point across concisely. I avoided writing for this reason, but after coming to university, I realized I would have to write more often than I realized. I was assigned weekly lab reports for my science courses and I finally understood how important it is to be able to comprehend information and also display it in a way that is easy to understand. Thankfully, I took ISP100 in the first semester of my first year, so it was especially helpful in making me a better writer."


Practical skills

"I really got to learn more about writing, and through practical examples improve my skills. I came into the course will little experience writing long-form content, as well as not much experience analyzing pieces of writing, but through ISP100 I had a chance to improve both of these skills."

"In ISP100H5, I learned how to properly cite a quotation, whether it was for a paraphrase or a quote. I also learned that you need to write your evidence at the beginning of a paraphrase and to start arguing right away without any background information (fluff)."

"There is more than one way to write an essay and you don’t have to follow the strict sandwich format. I learned analytical skills by doing research."

"I developed a new strategy in writing through the various structures and procedures we learned about. I learned many new methods of expressing my voice and perspective in my writing that has benefitted me in many different classes."

"I obtained more knowledge about writing such as what language to use for different kinds of writing."

"I learned about heuristics for the first time which changed the way I thought about writing and allowed me to gain confidence in my writing skills."


English learners



"Since English is not my first language, ISP100H5 helped me a lot in improving my writing skills."

"I could also see that it was especially beneficial to international students with a limited level of English proficiency."


Future benefits

Convocation Hall exterior
Convocation Hall. Photo © University of Toronto. All Rights reserved. Credit: Diana Tyszko

"This opened many gateways in the future for university, and even beyond the university level, as it helped me feel more confident in a universal tool (writing) which can be of a great asset to me in school and my future career."

"I feel I’ve gained a lot of confidence with my writing skills. I believe ISP100 will without a doubt be an aid in my years to come as a student."



Before and after taking ISP100H5 Writing for University and Beyond


"I was having difficulty understanding the expectations of my writing at a university level, this class helped clear those confusions up."


"I am able to write more clearly now than I was before and I find writing more pleasurable."


"I used to feel very forced with academic writing and assumed that you needed to write a certain way to gain full marks."


"I can be creative and free with my writing, while having it all fit into an academic paper nonetheless."


"Before university, I used to get 60s and 70s in English back in high school, and I ended up developing a dislike towards English and writing essays in general since I felt that it was impossible to improve my essays no matter how hard I tried."


"ISP100H5 taught me the necessary skills which helped me a lot in the transitioning from high school writing to university writing smoothly, and I liked how I was able to write more freely in my own style compared to the rigid structure that we had to learn when writing high school essays. As a result, I became more confident in my writing abilities, and I now enjoy the process of writing essays for my courses."


"Writing courses that I've taken in the past had nebulous definitions of success and seemed to be more about showcasing a student's existing skill, rather than honing their abilities."


"This course was the complete opposite of that. Expectations of your progress are clearly defined (but not restrictive whatsoever!) and allow students to tackle problems through the lens of their own identity as a writer, while leaving room to take inspiration from notable writers examined in-class."